LABUAN: Cyber crimes involving losses of RM67.6 million in 2,207 cases were reported in the first three months of this year, according to a senior officer of the Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) today.
Its deputy secretary-general (policy), Shakib Ahmad Shakir, said the ministry and agencies under it were concerned over the large amounts of money lost through such scams.
The three most common types of cyber crimes were cheating via telephone calls which recorded 773 cases with RM26.8 million in losses, cheating in online purchases with 811 cases totaling RM4.2 million and the ‘African Scam’ with 371 cases totaling RM14.9 million.
E-financial fraud recorded 212 cases involving losses of RM21.5 million, he said when opening a Labuan-level briefing on awareness to combat cyber crimes and human trafficking, here.
He said the losses were reported in online scams, credit card frauds, identity thefts and data breaches.
“KKMM is determined to combat cyber crimes in view of the concerns raised on the rise in cyber crimes committed through various means.
“Cyber crimes are a serious threat to the people as these frauds can cause them to lose hundreds of thousands of ringgit of their hard-earned money,” he said.
The briefing is part of the commitment of KKMM to create public awareness on cyber crimes through education and promotion and publicity campaigns.
Shakib said that according to the Commercial Crime Investigation Department, 13,058 cheating cases were reported in 2017 compared to 10,394 last year.
“I was told that telecommunication fraud is the most common form of (cyber) crime in Labuan with 16 complaints in 2017 and 19 complaints last year, a 35 per cent increase,” he said.
Shakib said the ministry would continue to cooperate with its strategic partners like the media, police, the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) and Information Department to combat the menace. – Bernama
Alongside AI and automation, virtual reality (VR) and its closely related cousin augmented reality (AR) have been touted for several years now as technologies likely to have a profoundly transformative effect on the way we live and work.
Solutions which allowing humans to explore fully immersive computer-generated worlds (in VR), and overlay computer graphics onto our view of our immediate environment (AR) are both increasingly being adopted in both entertainment and industry.
Over the next year, both VR and AR applications will become increasingly sophisticated, as devices get more powerful and capable of creating higher quality visuals. Our understanding of how humans can usefully navigate and interact within virtual or augmented environments will also evolve, leading to the creation of more “natural” methods of interacting and exploring virtual space.
Here are the 5 key trends I see for 2019:
AR and VR increasingly enhanced with AI
In a collision of two-letter abbreviations unlike anything that has come before it, AR and VR developers will increasingly build smart, cognitive functionality into their apps.
Computer vision – an AI (artificial intelligence) technology which allows computers to understand what they are “seeing” through cameras, is essential to the operation of AR, allowing objects in the user’s field of vision to be identified and labeled. We can expect the machine learning algorithms that enable these features to become increasingly sophisticated and capable.
The Snapchat and Instagram filters we are used to, to, e.g. overlay bunny ears and cat whiskers on selfies, are a very consumer-facing application of AI tech combined with AR. Their popularity in these and various other applications of image enhancement functionality isn’t likely to dwindle in 2019.
For more scientific use cases, there’s Google’s machine learning-enabled microscope to look forward to, which can highlight tissue which it suspects could be a cancerous tumor growth as a pathologist is looking at samples through the viewfinder.
VR is about putting people inside virtual environments and those environments – and their inhabitants – are likely to become increasingly intelligent over the next year. This is likely to include more voice control stemming from AI natural language processing, increasing immersion by reducing the reliance on icons and menus intruding into the virtual world. Gamers in VR will also face more challenging opponents as computer-controlled players will more effectively react and adapt to individual play styles.
2. VR and AR will increasingly be used in training and teaching
Both technologies have obvious use cases in education. Virtual environments allow students to practice anything from construction to flight to surgery without the risks associated with real-world training. While augmented environments mean, information can be passed to the student in real time on objectives, hazards or best-practice.
This year Walmart announced that it is using 17,000 Oculus Go headsets to train its employees in skills ranging from compliance to customer service. In particular, training in the use of new technology is a focus for the retailer, with staff learning to use the new Pickup Tower automated vending units in virtual environments before they were deployed in stores.
Additionally, the US Army has announced a deal with Microsoft to use its HoloLens technology in military training, meaning soldiers will get real-time readings on their environment. Currently, this includes readouts to provide real-time metrics on soldier performance such as data about heart and breathing rates, but research objectives are to develop pathfinding, target acquisition and mission planning.
As VR and AR both continue to prove their worth at reducing risk and cost associated with training, it is likely we will see an increasingly rapid pace of adoption in industries involving work with expensive tools and equipment, or hazardous conditions, throughout 2019.
3. Consumer Entertainment VR hits the mainstream
Ok, this one has been predicted for a couple of years now. VR adoption in homes has been steady since consumer headsets hit the market a couple of years ago, but hardware and application developers haven’t quite hit the sweet spot yet when it comes to creating the VR “killer app.”
But some significant developments are coming up that could mean 2019 is the year we start to see the real action here. Previous generations of VR headsets have been limited in one of two ways. Either by the user having to be tethered to a big, expensive computer to power the “experience,” hence limiting our mobility and therefore the sense of immersion. Or by relying on relatively low-powered mobile tech to control stand-alone headsets, meaning graphics quality is limited – another immersion-breaker.
This year, stand-alone headsets incorporating powerful, dedicated computer technology will hit the shelves, from both Vive and Oculus. Confident that their users will now be unrestricted by cables or low-powered displays, VR developers will create more realistic and accurate simulations of our real world within their virtual worlds. This will mean more immersive entertainment experiences and an unprecedented level of realism within VR games.
As well as being mobile, the new generation of headsets will improve the technology powering the virtual experience, by including features such as eyeball-tracking and increased field-of-view. Again, this will help users feel they can interact and explore in more natural ways.
Of course, it isn’t just the major players who are innovating – in a market like VR there’s always room for an underdog to shake things up. Amazon lists over 200 different VR headsets available to buy, many of them being created by startups promising new features and functionality that could end up being game-changers.
4. VR and AR environments becoming increasingly collaborative and social
Facebook’s purchase of Oculus in 2016 showed that the social media giant believed virtual reality would become vital to the way we build shared online environments. Whether it’s for virtual “conference calls” where participants can see and interact with each other, or socializing and relaxing with friends.
Pioneers such as Spatial are leading the way with AR tools for the boardroom and office, where users can see virtual whiteboards and pin boards, as well as collaboratively work on design documents overlaid on real-world objects.
This year, I am also expecting to see Facebook’s VR Spaces platform, which allows users to meet and socialize in VR, move out of beta, and Tencent has announced that it is looking into adding VR to its WeChat mobile messaging system – the most widely used messenger app in the world.
Combined with the predicted increase in sales of VR and AR headsets, this could mean that 2019 is the year we experience meeting and interacting with realistic representations of our friends and family in VR, for the first time.
5. AR increasingly finding its way into vehicles
Fully (level 5) autonomous cars may still be a few years away from becoming an everyday reality for most of us, but automobile manufacturers have plenty of other AI tech to dazzle us with in the meantime.
Two of the most significant trends in new vehicles in 2019 will be voice assistants – with most major manufacturers implementing their takes on Alexa and Siri – and in-car AR.
Powered by machine learning, Nvidia’s DriveAR platform uses a dashboard-mounted display overlaying graphics on camera footage from around the car, pointing out everything from hazards to historic landmarks along the way. Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Toyota, and Volvo have all signed up to work with the technology.
Alibaba-backed startup WayRay takes the route of projecting the AR data directly onto the car windshield, giving navigation prompts, right-of-way information, lane identification, and hazard detection.
In-car AR has the potential to improve safety – by allowing the driver to keep their eyes on the road as they read feedback that would previously have been given on a sat-nav or phone screen, as well as increase comfort and driver convenience. In a few years, it’s likely we will wonder how we ever lived without it.
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(Advertorial) The smart city not only makes urban living easier, but it also enables authorities adopt new ways to protect the public. The greater availability and easier access to all kinds of city data is helping the safety and security services to be more efficient. Hybrid networks have an important role in smart cities
How do you know you’re living in a smart city? It may not seem obvious, but there are some tell-tale signs for urban dwellers.
Perhaps your bus journey is quicker, with green traffic lights always showing. Maybe you don’t have to wait as long for an elevator to your destination floor. You notice that crime figures are on a downwards trend; you feel safer. Or you’re using an app that tells you what parking spaces are available.
Smart electricity and gas meters are another sign. Behind the scenes, smart grids are helping to manage demand and supply and ensure that energy is produced and consumed efficiently and cost-effectively.
A smart city collects large volumes of data from devices such as connected sensors, video cameras, lights and meters. The data is analysed and combined with information about behaviour of its inhabitants to provide new ways to improve infrastructure, public utilities and services. Data analytics also helps to find the most efficient way to run systems, from road layouts and parking, to hospital capacity, power provision and zoning for business and retail premises.
Smart cities can improve public safety
As cities become smarter they become increasingly dependent on the underlying data-gathering systems, whether small data updates from an environmental sensor monitoring traffic pollution, to continuous streams of large amounts of data from video cameras.
At the same time, public safety organisations are looking into new operational efficiencies by taking advantage of mobile broadband. The fast access to data in the field is the basis for new ways to take care of public safety and security. In addition, data capabilities can help organisations improve the efficiency of their operations.
The link to smart cities is clear. When public safety users can access the wealth of data generated by the smart city, new ways of maintaining public safety come up. For example, city inhabitants can send photos or video of incidents or crimes, and virtual reality and augmented reality can put incident commanders right at the scene. Data on the types and location of crimes and social media posts can be analysed and patterns recognized. Thanks to this data, police officers know to patrol high risk areas. Access to smart city cameras, sensors and other systems bring new possibilities to public safety users, such as clearing road lanes to allow police vehicles to get to accidents more quickly.
With police, paramedics, firefighters and hospitals all linked into the network and sharing information – both voice and data – emergency response can be faster and more efficient. Lives can be saved.
Shock-proof networks for smart city safety
Mission-critical communications for public safety are typically delivered using dedicated TETRA and Tetrapol networks. These ultra-reliable networks ensure public safety communications are available even in exceptional circumstances, for instance when the infrastructure suffers damage, or the commercial mobile networks experience extremely high levels of traffic. When an incident strikes, commercial networks typically become congested as people try to get online or contact the emergency services and friends and family.
However, these dedicated public safety networks do not have the capacity for new bandwidth-hungry apps that many public safety authorities are looking to adopt to enhance their operations.
The key is to get more data capacity for mobile applications, such as video, database queries and pictures, yet without losing the vital aspects of reliable voice, security and interoperability.
On the other hand, the reliability that is so essential cannot yet be met by commercial broadband LTE solutions. They simply don’t have the priorities, group communication and many other capabilities needed to replace TETRA/Tetrapol networks in mission-critical communications.
Although work is under way to make mission-critical voice available on commercial broadband networks, standards-based products are still many years away.
Hybrid networks offer the best of both worlds
The most cost-effective solution for delivering mission-critical reliability and broadband capacity to public safety users is based on the hybrid network model.
In the hybrid network model, a public safety organisation can continue with a TETRA or Tetrapol network for mission-critical voice and data, while introducing mobile broadband services step-by-step. These services can be based on a dedicated broadband network, commercial services as a Secure MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), or a combination of the two.
Using a hybrid network means investments can be made gradually as and when needed, offering long-term benefits by bridging existing narrowband networks and future solutions.
The broadband network can be developed in different ways depending on which applications are needed and the level of investment that can be supported. One way of evolving towards broadband services is to start with a Secure MVNO service, using several Mobile Network Operators’ (MNOs) services to achieve improved coverage and reliability. This is particularly suited to providing mobile office applications. Dedicated broadband capacity can be added as needed to improve coverage, or when applications become more mission-critical.
Hybrid networks and the smart city – a perfect combination
The public’s safety and security is the top priority for all city authorities. With the development of smart cities, new capabilities are becoming available to help public safety organisations become more effective and more efficient.
Making reliable broadband services available to emergency services users in the field is a major step towards safer cities. And the most effective way to achieve that is the hybrid network. The hybrid network model is the way to reap the benefits of both mission-critical communications and professional broadband solutions.
Four cornerstones of a successful hybrid network…
Seamless connectivity and collaboration are vital for successful operations in a hybrid environment. Four cornerstones – devices, apps, management systems and service levels – provide the building blocks for further development and new operational models.
A smooth move to a hybrid network requires that the users’ devices can access both the PMR network and the broadband (LTE) network. While a user could have two separate devices, this is not only cumbersome and costly, but also limits the user’s ability to combine the functions of the two networks.
The Airbus Tactilon Dabat is the world’s first device to combine a smartphone and a TETRA radio in one package, and it lets users access reliable TETRA services and advanced data applications at the same time. Tactilon Dabat brings the advantages of smart-phones to professional TETRA users, removing the barriers to combining professional voice with easy data access.
Teamwork involving a wide range of people is essential to maintain the safety and security of smart cities. With the Airbus Tactilon Agnet solution a team can be extended to include additional vital resources when needed, regardless of which devices team members are using. Furthermore, critical apps can be made available for use by TETRA and LTE users.
Hybrid apps enable new services and ways of communicating. The Airbus Critical Apps Ecosystem and the SmarTWISP program are developing innovative apps for mission-critical and business-critical users.
Without a tool for subscriber management in the hybrid environment, organizations would have subscribers separately provisioned into each network. There would be no link between a PMR subscriber and the equivalent entity in the broadband network.
With thousands of users on a typical PMR network and broadband network, managing every user individually and separately in different networks would be enormously time consuming and expensive. It would probably be impossible! Subscriber Management tool handling users in PMR and broadband networks is needed.
Providing communication over a hybrid network calls for real-time insight. This is straightforward for a TETRA or Tetrapol network, but a hybrid network may involve one or more Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). How will the service operator know that every operator complies with their Service Level Agreements (SLAs)? How can the operator know that the users are getting the agreed communication service levels?
Airbus Viewcor® answers the challenge by providing service quality analytics and visualizing the network’s service level. With ViewCor, the hybrid network operator can see what kind of service users are receiving from the MNOs, in real-time.